The 28-year-old Matthew Bartlett made an obscene gesture at prosecutors

By Steve Helling
June 30, 2011 05:05 PM

It appears that Casey Anthony isn’t the only critic of the prosecution.

At 2:34 p.m. on Thursday, the courtroom cameras caught a spectator giving the middle finger to prosecutor Jeff Ashton. Sitting in the second row of the court, 28-year-old Matthew Bartlett held up the finger in front of his face.

The courtroom television camera caught the gesture on tape. A local TV station contacted court officials and sent them images of the offending finger. “We pulled him out of court and trespassed him,” explains court spokeswoman Karen Levey. “And then he appeared in front of the judge.”

With Casey looking on, Judge Belvin Perry told Bartlett that since the jury had been in the room, his actions could have resulted in a mistrial. Bartlett appeared apologetic and nervous as he explained himself. “It was stupid,” he said. “I’m not even sure why I did it.”

Bartlett, a restaurant server at T.G.I. Friday’s, has some time to figure that one out: in addition to paying a $400 fine and $223 in court costs, he’s spending the next six days in jail.